December 5, 1926: Cincinnati Reds second baseman Hughie Critz finishes second in voting for the 1926 National League Most Valuable Player Award.
During a year where Babe Ruth batted .372 with 47 homers, and 146 rbi with a 1.253 OPS (225 OPS+) in the American League and does not get one single MVP vote, Critz finishes second in the National League with 60 points, 19 points behind the MVP winner, St. Louis catcher Bob O’Farrell. Critz batted .270 with three homers and a .687 OPS; O’Farrell played 147 games as a catcher and hit .293 with an .804 OPS.
With the game in transition, MVP voters often hung on to the defensive and small ball specialists in MVP voting. Ruth only one won MVP award in his 22-year career and only received votes three different times. Meanhile, Critz finished second in 1926, fourth in 1928 and 17th in 1929 despite being a slap hitter with a career OPS+ of 73.
“Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder found a quote from the 1930 The Sporting News that called Critz “perhaps the greatest fielding second baseman the game ever knew.” The 1926 Reds placed second with a 87-67 record, two games behind O’Farrell’s Cardinals.
December 5, 1966: Cincinnati Reds owner Bill DeWitt sells the team for $7 million. According to “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder:
Bill DeWitt sells the Reds for $7 million to a group of 13 Cincinnati investors, (including DeWitt’s son William (DeWitt), Jr.). Frank Dale, president and publisher of The Cincinnati Enquirer was elected president of the Reds.
The new owners immediately announced they would sign a 40-year lease on the new riverfront stadium, which DeWitt was reluctant to do. The ownership group not only shepherded the Reds into Riverfront Stadium, but presided over the club during the Big Red Machine era. Because of the Frank Robinson trade and his failure to embrace a stadium in downtown Cincinnati, DeWitt left the club under a cloud. Almost forgotten were the deals he engineered to give the Reds the National League pennant in 1961.
December 5, 1978: From baseball-reference.com’s bullpen:
After sixteen years with the Cincinnati Reds, Pete Rose signs a four-year, $3.2 million deal with the Phillies. Other teams which pursued ‘Charlie Hustle’ include the Mets, Braves, Pirates and the Royals. The deal temporarily makes Rose the highest-paid athlete in team sports.
From “Redleg Journal”:
“He (Rose)…showed no signs of slowing down, but the Reds were reluctant to sign a 38-year-old–even if he was Pete Rose–to a long-term contract. Rumors of Rose’s gambling activities had also surfaced and concerned the front office. The result was that the Reds failed to consider Rose’s request for a long-term $400,000 per year contract. Rose entered the free-agent draft and embarked on a whirlwind tour of several potential suitors. His four-year pact with the Phillies was worth $810,000 a year.